Read the interview about the often forgotten issues of Korean nationalism and aspirations for reunification on the Peninsula.
Regarding South Korea’s unique perspective on the future trajectotry of unification:
The current South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has repeatedly made clear that he opposes the use of military force against North Korea no matter what happens. He and his camp support the idea of a North-South confederation. Pyongyang has always seen confederation as a brief transition to a takeover of the South, while Seoul sees it as a symbolic union that will enable it to postpone real unification indefinitely.
Discussing the long shadow of Germany reunification that may be worrying the North Korean Kim regime:
The example of East Germany exerts a far greater cautionary effect on the North Koreans than Qaddafi’s fate does. The Honecker regime took what Americans and South Koreans keep recommending to North Korea as the “pragmatic” way out of its problems: It began opening up to the West, quasi-formally recognized the rival coethnic state’s right to exist, and focused on improving its own citizens’ standard of living. We all know how that ended. The same road would be even deadlier to North Korea, because while communism can legitimize itself with promises of a more equal society, an ultranationalist state that makes peace with the race enemy has no reason to exist.